74788 John COATES, ERD, MiD*, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

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  1. dbf

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    Personal Number: 74788
    Rank: Lieutenant-Colonel
    Name: John COATES, ERD, MiD*
    Unit: Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

    London Gazette : 20 December 1940
    The names of the undermentioned have been brought to notice in recognition of distinguished services in connection with operations in the field. March - June, 1940.
    2/Lt. J. COATES.

    London Gazette : 16 December 1943
    The KING has been graciously pleased to approve that the following be Mentioned in recognition ot gallant and distinguished services in Burma and on the Eastern Frontier of India:—
    Inniskilling Fus.
    Lt. (temp. Capt.) J. Coates (74788).

    London Gazette : 5 January 1960
    Maj. John COATES (74788) (Res. of Offrs., R. Innisks.), to be Maj., 18th Dec. 1959, with seniority 4th Nov. 1953.

    London Gazette : 30 January 1962
    Lt.-Col. J. COATES, E.R.D. (74788) (Maj., Res. of Offns., R. Innisks.) from Active List, to be Lt.-Col., 1st May 1961.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021
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  2. dbf

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  5. PackRat

    PackRat Well-Known Member

    Commanded 'A' Company, 1st Battalion for the raid on Donbaik, 8/9 January 1943.

    1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, War Diary, 11th January
    0830 For the first time we saw JAP aircraft - 6 NAVY ‘0’ Fighters. They passed over area from SOUTH to NORTH and machine-gunned a crashed HURRICANE two or three miles NORTH of us. On their return journey they attacked our B Echelon area doing negligible damage to a 30-cwt RIASC lorry.
    1515 494 Bty, 8th Mnt Bty and Mortar Pl. open up for half an hour putting down intense concentrations along CHAUNG 646832 (JAP F.D.Ls.)
    COMMENT Much enemy material has been sent back to HQ 47 Bde. Some was captured by CAPT. COATES (A Coy Cmd) in his attack on DONBAIK, some was taken from a dead JAP, whose body lies on the beach close by. From the material, it has been established that we are fighting the Imperial Army, the unit being 6th Coy, 2nd Bn, 213 Inf. Regt.


    A personal report on the raid by Captain Coates, attached as an appendix to January’s War Diary:

    Extract from A Coy Comd's Diary, 9th January

    0800 At forming up point.
    0830 Est. O.P. on HILL 100. JAPS seen moving about in huts just north of FORD, DONBAIK.
    0845 494 Bty opened up on huts. Several hits observed.
    0930 Orders given for attack. Two pls up.
    1030 1st objective reached. The JAPS left in a hurry, leaving rifles, steel helmets, a box thought to
    be a wireless, a 40lb box of dried potatoes & large cartons of cigarettes.
    1100 Started attack on DONBAIK (2nd objective).
    1110 6 Japs seen in CHAUNG heading into DONBAIK. Owing to the bends in the CHAUNG they escaped leaving a L/T set & a signaller's notebook & ten reels cable (440 yds) with handle attachment & some clothing & bedding equipment.
    1130 Arrived in DONBAIK & cleared village. Sent up success signal & arranged defence, sending out at the same time two parties to collect Jap equipment & the others to bring in the line.
    1200 Defence organised – decided to have lunch. 27 Jap mess tins filled with rice already cooked. So we added some milk & ate it.
    1300 6 Japs seen approaching from SOUTH side DONBAIK walking through paddy unarmed. Waited until they were within 300 yds & opened fire. All dropped to cover. Then one stood up with white flag & was shot at. Then another party appeared with a Jap flag.
    1500 Japs attacked along line of the CHAUNG from the east, using two small mortars & what appeared to be automatic rifles. The fire was intense. The two sections defending the chaung engaged with all weapons but were badly shot up. Both L.M. gunners killed – most of section wounded. The pl defending the NORTH side were then brought up but the Japs had penetrated the village at this stage & our amn was running very short – half the guns were being supplied with amn from bandoliers.
    1600 Recce possible withdrawal.
    1615 Coy started withdrawing to beach, sections giving covering fire alternately.
    1630 Coy heading NORTH along beach, one section being sacrificed holding the Japs at DONBAIK. Noticed through glasses JAPS covering beach about 1000 yds NORTH so decided to cross to hills. JAPS having dealt with section in village running to the hills to cut us off. We reached the jungle scrub along foothills.
    1700 Decided to make the main range, as our casualties along the beach were heavy & there was
    only about 1000 yds between the coy.
    1800 Arrived at main range with our wounded & rested till daybreak.
    0630 Made for original start line.
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